Precious Junk

brokenBroken. Everything in this house is broken. She has the opposite of the Midas touch. Things crumble and shatter at her fingertips – the dreams, the dishes, the treasured things, our hearts.


She’s a gale, moving too fast. She does not know that she leaves us behind in the wreckage. She exposes the hairline fractures that have always been.


Tired of cleaning up the pieces. Is there anything worth salvaging? Can we break anymore? Can we really be mended?


Words said in anger, frustration, mourning. Helpless to fix it, the urge to throw it all away.


Try as we might, we cannot fix our cracked lives, we cannot re-join the compartmentalized.


We are vexed and have no use for our broken and bruised.


But not God.


He will not disregard it, he will not refuse or reject it.


For oh how he loves broken me. And broken her. And broken him.


Given to Him to carefully knit back together, breathe life into dry, broken bones, and replace the stony hearts with hearts of flesh. We are His creative destruction, and He is our Healer.


There’s a cost in this life-long fixing.


But if we can just trust Him…! We will never forget He is near the shattered parts. We will see the beauty in the cracks. Our pieces delicately held together by Love-glue.


The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart.. 34:18

And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The Repairer of the Breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. Isaiah 58:12

18 thoughts on “Precious Junk

  1. Good Morning Jeneil!

    Yes, our God can mend our brokenness. So often I feel my favorite vase is precariously held together and mended, once again, so I go ahead and begin to add the water to prepare for my favorite bouquet, once again. The flowers are ready, the vase mended, and I have the finished arrangement in mind. Just as the water nears the top of the vase and the flower stems are securely in my grip, I notice my vase, my beautiful vase, begins to leak, once again. The flower stems drop from my grip as I watch the water trickle from the “mended” vase. The vase is not ready to hold water or my beautiful flowers. Disappointed, once again. Just when I thought the glue had dried and the vase was ready, it wasn’t. I can’t stand this! I guess it’s time to get rid of the vase. Everytime I try to recreate my beautiful flower arrangement in my beautiful vase, this happens. That’s it! No more disappointment because I am casting the vase aside.

    Then a thought strikes me. Maybe it is time to find a different use for my beautiful vase? Just because it no longer can hold water due to the many repairs it had endured; and therefore can no longer hold the stems of my favorite flower arrangement, does that mean I can no longer see the beauty of my favorite vase? Does that mean I have to toss my vase aside because the disappointment is too much to bear again?

    No! I love that beautiful vase and my favorite flower arrangement can still be my favorite flower arrangement. My beautiful vase now holds the long, dried reeds my son brought me from his adventure abroad. The color of the reeds perfectly joins the colors of my beautiful vase! My favorite flower arrangement is displayed in another room in another vase and looks lovely.

    It’s about change. Adjusted expectations. Let go of the disappointment and embrace the new. The beauty of both the old and new can be joined hand in hand.
    This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like abush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no none lives. BUT blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:3-8

    Thank you for your blog Jeneil!

  2. i really hope this doesn’t come off as disrespectful of your torturously beautiful post, but i can’t help but share what may seem like a very silly story in response.

    at the pool on friday night, kendall swam/ walked up to a rather large bald man in the pool. ‘you have no hair!’ she exclaimed. thankfully he laughed. ‘no, little lady i don’t.’ she kept going. ‘you’re BALD!’ she yelled. ‘why yep, yep i am,’ he said, still amused. ‘you’re BROKEN!’ she told him, very loudly. he stopped laughing and looked at her, obviously confused.

    without a lot of language, some things just get thrown into the closest category she’s got. perhaps she was looking for ‘different’ or ‘lacking something most of us have.’ i don’t know. she doesn’t have the layers of language that most of us do, so the poor guy gets labeled ‘broken’

    i looked over and of course knew that he was far from broken, he was simply different than what she is used to.

    i wish i could articulate this better. but the point is, it’s understandable to feel the way you do right now – of course – OF COURSE – but God looks over too, Jeneil and no doubt He knows that rhema is far from broken. that you and hope and brandon are far from broken. like kendall, we have limited categories – God does not.


    • kendall’s story is perfect. we tend to think of “broken” as a bad thing. but just as broken isn’t a bad thing in kendall’s mind, it isn’t in God’s either. (rhema’s property destruction actually reminded me of that). in fact, i believe He prefers us broken. it keeps us humble, keeps us needing a Savior. so that His strength can be made perfect in our weaknesses and that He can be glorified through the cracks.

      here are a couple posts i found that say it better than i ever could:

      • oh yeah. i can’t remember where i read this, but the story is from a max lucado book. there’s a young girl who is a musical prodigy. she’s playing her violin at a concert, and the audience is in total awe her gift. a man in the audience says to another, “but just imagine how beautiful this will be once her heart’s been broken.”

        i want that beauty and depth that can only come from brokenness.

  3. Jeneil my heart hurts with you. And I love to read your writing. It is so expressive.

    Also not meaning to make light of your pain, but it reminded me of my on-going argument with the Lord. Our carpets are old in our house. A wonderful Christian man cleans them twice a year and is amazing the carpets are 11 years old. His comments reminds me how the the Israelites wandered in the desert 40 years and their sandal did not wear out.

    After each cleaning, I walk around so pleased with my clean carpets worshiping them. This should be my first clue that within the first 24 hours of clean carpets someone will vomit, pee, poop or spill something red. It never fails.

    I fail to my knees like Scarlett O’Hara and cry out to heaven, “Lord, why? Why can’t I have clean carpets for more than 24 hours?”

    Of course, I know the answer. Because clean carpets mean more to me than Him.

    The other thing that I thought about when I read today’s blog was Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust (and children) destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust (and children) do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

    I recently heard a sermon on disappointments in life. He was talking about divorce, tragic accidents which take our children, and children who turn their back on God. But he could have just as easily talked about raising special children. He used this same verse and then took a small rabbit trail, which really spoke to me.

    He said, “For those women in the audience who have teenagers, I want you to stop worrying about keeping your house like a museum and not like a place where people actually live. If you have teenagers they should feel welcome. And if you have stains in your carpet or broken couches, know these stains and broken furniture are calling out “Glory to God in heaven!”

    As I read your blog, I could hear your broken dishes, broken dreams, broken treasured things and broken hearts calling out, “Glory to God in heaven!”

    Because in these broken things, the power of God is made clear and all those associated with you can join in the reframe, “Glory to God in heaven.”

    • corrie, I promise you, I literally just returned from scrubbing (what drama mama calls) fudge off the walls. poop art lives on. so your comment is perfectly timed. the “breaking” continues… Glory to God in heaven! (now isn’t that a crazy radical perspective!)

  4. Dear Jeneil,

    Your daughter and my son are 2 peas in a pod. Wyatt is 5, non-verbal, and our little sensory seeking, constant reminder not to grow attached to material objects. If I ever win the lottery the 1st thing I will do is hire 2 new members for team Wyatt. One will carry a bucket and sponge, the other a broom. Their only role would be to follow 2 steps behind my little guy.

    I love to read your blog because it is rare that I “meet” a family whose child is at a similar place on the spectrum as mine. Thank you for sharing your story.


  5. I think we all know what you mean, every picture frame is broken. Every vase has been shattered and glued at least once. Your post touched me because I have been there, as if looking at a house full of broken junk is not enough, then I look at my children, their struggles seem to consume us. On the bad days I wonder if God still remembers I am here, on the good days I know I am on this path for a reason, God has a plan for me. Now if I could just get the super glue off my fingers so I can figure out what it is.

  6. speak those things, mama! did He breathe us out of dust to begin with? did he knit our flesh together? surely He is our hope and the mender of broken things, the restorer of broken walls. our ashes… He turns to beauty. our mourning… He turns to dancing. let it be so. amen.

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  8. I have experienced this many, many times. It used to upset me but now I see it as a blessing. The Gospels are full of stories of how we should not be attched to material things. Honestly, I am to the point that if she does not get hurt, I’m relieved!!! I just don’t care about the “stuff” anymore. The part that hurts the most is when I go to somone elses house and the implication is it’s a lack of parenting, not the disability that causes the destruction. I literally have been exiled because I can’t take her out and relax. Autism causes you to empty yourself. It is a painful process but Divine in nature. I do try and teach her to be respectful but her brain does not have the capacity to understand “centimental,” “costly,” or “respect someone’s property.” She can’t even communicate in full sentences. How can I expect her to understand? Last week, she tore up a plant at a family members house. Two of the babies got into the dirt. The Dad of the other child pick up his baby and spanked it:-( The look on his face said, I’m disciplining MY kid. I din’t know what bothered me more the broken plant or the broken man.

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